Resources for citing federal, international and United Nations government documents.

Citing US Government Documents (Federal, State, and Local)

Many government publications originate through executive departments, federal and state agencies, and the United States Congress.  These documents are often posted without a clear indication of author, title, publisher or copyright date.  There are no hard and fast rules for citing these publications.  Look for available clues and provide as much information as possible in your chosen citation style.  The resources listed below will help create consistent citations.

Citing International Government Documents

Citation Examples

Here are some examples of frequently used government publications.  Unless otherwise noted, these citations are based largely on the style of the above linked, The Complete Guide to Citing Government Documents: A Manual for Writers & Librarians (1993).  You should also consult whatever style guide (APA, MLA, Chicago, etc.) is appropriate for your project.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR):

"Rules and Regulations Governing Smithsonian Institution Buildings and Grounds," Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations, Pt. 504. 2012 ed.

Federal Register:

"Odorant Fade in Railroad Tank Cars; Notice of Safety Advisory," 77 Federal Register 72 (13 April 2012), pp. 22381-22383.

Congressional Record: 

Rep. Coats (Ind.). "Hats off to IU Hoosiers," Congressional Record 133, Pt. 6 (31 Mar. 1987) p. 7336.

Serial Set:

U.S. Senate. 50th Congress, 2nd Session. Report on Indian Traderships (S.Rpt.2707). Washington: Government Printing Office, 1899. (Serial Set 2623).

Hearing:

U.S. House. Committee of Ways and Means. Child Care and Child Welfare Hearing, 3 February 1995. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1995. (Y4.W36:104-14)

Senate Executive Journal:
Chicago style (bibliographic style)

U.S. Congress. Senate Exec. Journal. 1st Cong., 2nd sess., 11 January 1790. (View the page cited)

House Journal:
Chicago style (author/date style)

U.S. House Journal. 1790. 1st Cong., 2nd sess., 22 January. (View the page cited)

Journals of the Continental Congress:
Chicago style (bibliographic style)

Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789, ed. Worthington C. Ford et al. (Washington, D.C., 1904-37), 19:137. (View the page cited)
JCC, 1774-1789, ed. Worthington C. Ford et al. (Washington, D.C., 1904-37), 19:137. (View the page cited)

Agency Report:
APA style

National Cancer Institute. (2019). Taking time: Support for people with cancer (NIH Publication No. 18-2059). U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health. https://www.cancer.gov/publications/patient-education/takingtime.pdf

Agency Report:
MLA style

File, Thom. Who Votes? Congressional Elections and the American Electorate: 1978-2014. United States, Department of Commerce, Census Bureau, July 2015, census.gov/content/dam/Census/library/publications/2015/demo/p20-577.pdf. Accessed 12 Dec. 2017.

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In-Text Citations Format

Paraphrase:

(Author Surname OR Name of Government Organization, Year)

Quotation:

(Author Surname OR Name of Government Organization, Year, page number)

Reference:

Author Surname, First Initial. Second Initial. OR Government Name. Name of Government Agency. (Year). Title: Subtitle (Report No. xxx [if available]). Publisher.

Citation Tools

Last Updated: Aug 3, 2021 1:08 PM